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Social Dilemmas



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  • 1. Danny Kannell
    To Cooperate or Not:The Dilemma of Social Life
  • 2. Social dilemmas
    “A social dilemma exists whenever a particular course of action or inaction will benefit the individual but harm the others in the group and cause more harm than good to everyone if everyone takes that course” (Gray, 2010).
  • 3. “The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality.”
    - Garrett Hardin
    The Tragedy of the Commons
  • 4. Hardin compares global overpopulation to commons in New England (1968).
    If one person added another cow, that person be better off.
    If everyone added another cow, everyone would be worse off.
    Each person’s dilemma is, “Should I add an extra cow?”
    Hardin compared this to overpopulation: if one person has more children, it does no harm, but if everyone has more children, Earth will end up worse off.
    Dilemma: One must choose whether or not to have as many children as one wants.
    The Tragedy of the Commons
  • 5. Discussion Question: Should we place limits on how many children each person is allowed to have for the benefit of society?
  • 6. Social Dilemma Games
  • 7. Prisoner’s Dilemma
  • 8. Ultimatum Game
    Ultimatum games are economic games used by social scientists to study human cooperation.
  • 9. According to the Nash equilibrium solution, the most logical offer is 1 cent (Osborne, 2003).
    In a study, it was common for proposers to offer up to 50% of the starting money, and for the responders to reject as much as 20% of the starting money (Güth, Schmittberger, & Schwarze, 1982).
    The ultimatum game shows that a person’s perception of fairness is very important in decision making.
    Economic GamesUltimatum Game
  • 10. In a dictator game, a dictator is given money, and can then choose to offer any amount of that money to another participant, irrelevant of whether or not the other participant thinks it is fair.
    In one study done using the dictator game, three different experiments were used to determine how a player reacts in different circumstances (Mellers, Haselhuhn, Tetlock, Silva, & Isen, 2010).
    Dictator Game
  • 11. Experiment 1
    $10 was given to the dictator who could then distribute this money to the other participant as the dictator chose.
    (Mellers et al., 2010)
  • 12. Experiment 2
    After making an offer, the dictator could spend $1 to quit the game and keep the $9 for himself, as long as the dictator was told that the other participant would not be told about the game.
    (Mellers et al., 2010)
  • 13. Experiment 3
    Prior to participating in the game, the dictators were given either candy or watched a comedy to improve their mood.
    (Mellers et al., 2010)
  • 14. Class Results
  • 15. Group Conflicts and Resolutions
  • 16. Robbers Cave
    At Robbers Cave, two rival groups were created by splitting up a group of campers into two and encouraging them to make their own sets of customs, norms, and ideas (Sherif, M., Harvey, O. J., White, B. J., Hood, W. E., & Sherif, C. S., 1961).
    After the two groups became bitter rivals through competitions, there was need to resolve their conflicts.
    When faced with mutual problems in which the groups had to work together, the groups cooperated and members of both groups began to get along.
  • 17. Relational Identity Theory
    Relational Identity Theory was developed by Daniel L. Shapiro “to help people understand and deal with key emotional dimensions of conflict management” (2010).
    In an exercise conducted by Shapiro, which he calls “Tribes,” participants had form tribes and then conform to one of the tribe’s ideals and values before Earth was destroyed. They failed the majority of the time.
    The results of this study show how difficult it can be for people to not give up their tribal ideals and values for a common good.
  • 18. Practical Uses for RIT
    Shapiro argues that autonomy and affiliation are the most important components to facilitate cooperation between groups (2010).
    Respect for Autonomy: Shapiro worked with the International Criminal Court to research the best ways to reach out to members of different groups by making sure they do not feel that their autonomy is violated.
    Building Affiliation: Shapiro worked with Palestinians and Israelis to help them build affiliation through social events, lectures on negotiation, and putting them on the same side of negotiation cases (Fisher & Shapiro, 2005).
    The ultimate goal of RIT is to mitigate the “tribes effect” and increase global cooperation and security.
  • 19. Discussion Question: Would you conform to the views and ideals of a foreign country such as N. Korea or Iran if it means saving the world from destruction?
  • 20. Bibliography
    Fisher, R., & Shapiro, D. L. (2005). Beyond reason: Using emotions asyou negotiate. New York, NY: Viking.
    Gray, P. (2010). Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.
    Güth, W., Schmittberger, R., & Schwarze, B. (1982). An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining. Journal of Economic Behavior &Organization, 3, 367–388.
    Hardin, G. (1968, December 13). The Tragedy of the Commons. Science. 162(3859), 1243 – 1248 doi: 10.1126/science.162.3859.1243
    Mellers, B. A., Haselhuhn, M. P., Tetlock, P. E., Silva, J. C., & Isen, A. M. (2010, September 20). Predicting Behavior in Economic Games by Looking Through the Eyes of the Players. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0020280
    Osborne, M. J. (2003). An introduction to game theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.